Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Hidden Benefits of Attending Places of Worship

After a great deal of thought several years ago, I decided to call myself a Life-Work Coach instead of the conventional Work-Life Coach. My reason may or may not be obvious to the reader. I consider life more important than work, and work as only a means to achieve the life you desire.

I realize that in this particular blog I may be stepping out into an area considered very sensitive in our society - Religion. I have been stimulated to write this piece, inspired by a recent book by Tanya Marie Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology (who also has training in psychology) at Stanford and the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God."

Although Luhrmann's observations and study focuses on Christian Evangelical Churches, I would venture to say that the benefits can be extrapolated to all people who attend places of worship regularly every week. What is striking is the discovery that religiosity boosts the human immune system, decreases blood pressure, and adds as much as three years to a person's life. In addition, stress was significantly decreased, and the quality of a person's relationships while interacting with other people was significantly increased.

Social support obviously has a part to play in it. At the weekly meeting of small groups, the participants talked about their lives, encouraged each other in concrete ways, and also studied their sacred books. It appears that this interaction contributed directly and indirectly to better physical and mental health. Those attending religious services regularly drank less, smoked less, used fewer recreational drugs and were less sexually promiscuous than others. They also seemed to have a stronger moral and ethical compass. 

We would be very interested in your comments.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why I Love and Respect Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker has been my management guru for the past five decades. I was thrilled a couple of years ago when I had the good fortune to visit Claremont, California, and see Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. Drucker passed away on November 11, 2005, at the age of 95.

Two of his concepts have had a deep impact on me. One is Effectiveness and the other is Abandonment.

Drucker says: "Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things." This concept is true for individuals as well as organizations.

Abandonment (Purposeful) is a solution which leads to effectiveness. "Choosing what not to do is a decision as strategic as its opposite." Drucker exhorts managers to quickly sever projects, policies and processes that had outlived their usefulness.

These concepts are the linchpins of excellent time management.

Any wonder why I love and respect Peter Drucker?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Respect for Various Professions in the United States

I have always been curious as to the changing degrees of respect Americans give to various professions in these United States. A typical decade will also show how the hierarchy of respect changes for various professions. Although various surveys exist, what is shown below is based on a recent Angus Reid Public Opinion poll. Some results took me by surprise! I was expecting Priests / Ministers to be No. 1!

Most respected professions are:

Farmers (93%)
Nurses (92%)
Doctors (90%)
Veterinarians (89%)
Teachers (88%)
Engineers (87%)
Scientists (87%)
Dentists (86%)
Military Officers (85%)
Architects (83%)
Police Officers (81%)
Priests / Ministers (76%)

Least respected professions are:

Business Executives (48%)
Lawyers (45%)
Car Salesmen (30%)
Politicians (20%)

What do you think? Please send us your comments and opinions.